Romanian Crown Jewels

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The Romanian Crown Jewels are a set of precious regalia which were used for the coronation of the kings and queens of Romania. They are currently housed in the National Museum of Romanian History in Bucharest. The Romanian Crown jewels consist of the Royal Crown (the so-called “Steel Crown”), the Crown of Queen Elizabeth, the Crown of Queen Maria, orbs, the Scepter of King Ferdinand I the Scepter of King Carol II, the Sword of King Carol I and the Royal Mantle.[1]

Royal "Steel” Crown[edit]

The Romanian “Steel Crown” is the crown which was used for the coronation of the Romanian kings.[2] It was cast of steel from a Turkish cannon which was captured by the Romanian Army during the Siege of Plevna[3] in the Romanian War of Independence (1877-1878). King Carol I chose that the crown be made of steel, and not gold, to symbolize the bravery of the Romanian soldiers. In addition to the absence of gold the crown contains no precious stones.[4] The crown was presented to the king on May 10, 1881 during the ceremonies of his coronation and of the proclamation of Romania as a kingdom. On October 15, 1922 the crown was used for the coronation of King Carol I's nephew and successor, King Ferdinand I, as well as, the coronation of Romania’s last king, Michael I on September 6, 1940. The planned September 1930 coronation of Ferdinand’s son, King Carol II, who was also the father of King Michael I, never occurred due to his relationship with Magda Lupescu.[5]

The Crown of Queen Elizabeth[edit]

Crown of Queen Elizabeth of Romania

The Crown of Queen Elizabeth, was made of gold at the Arsenalul Armatei, for the occasion of the proclamation of the Kingdom and the coronation of King Carol I and Queen Elizabeth in 1881. The crown follows a medieval design similar to that of the Royal Steel Crown, and it, too, does not contain precious stones.[6]

The Crown of Queen Maria[edit]

Coronation portrait of Queen Maria wearing the Romanian Crown of Queen Maria

The Crown of Queen Maria was made of gold mined from the Transylvania region of Romania. It was constructed specifically for the occasion of the coronation of King Ferdinand I and Queen Maria in 1922 at Alba-Iulia.[7] The Crown has a very original design. Rather than wearing the crown of Queen Elizabeth, Queen Maria had reportedly told her husband “I want nothing modern that another queen might have. Let mine be all medieval.” The new crown was modeled on one having belonged to Milica Despina of Wallachia, the consort of a 16th-century Wallachian prince. It contains rubies, emeralds, amethyst, turquoise and opals and weighs 4 pounds (1.8 kg). Grains of wheat decorate the base of the crown topped by eight large and eight small flower ornaments connected by interlacing branches. A globe and cross sit atop the eight arches above the flower ornaments and a pendulae, supposedly copied from ancient Byzantine head ornaments, hangs from both sides of the headband just above the ear, each bearing the Coat of arms of Romania. From each of these pendulae hang three chains, each with a cross within a gold circle at the end.[8]

The Scepter of King Ferdinand I[edit]

The Scepter of Ferdinand I, was constructed in Alba-Iulia for the coronation of King Ferdinand I in 1922.[9] It was presented to the king on May 10, 1920 by six girls from the orphanage Radu Voda, and is inscribed "King Ferdinand I, King of the Romanians is presented this gift by his people as a reward for his worthiness and good governance of the country during the years 1916-1919". At the top are four images of peasants in national costumes representing Transylvania, Bessarabia, Bukovina and the ancient kingdom Romania.[10] The head of an eagle sits atop the scepter and symbolizes the Latin origin of the Romanians.[11]

The Scepter of King Carol II[edit]

The Scepter of Carol II was presented by Romanian Army officials to King Carol II in 1940 for the 10th anniversary of his ascension to the throne.[12] This scepter is similar to the Scepter of Ferdinand I.[13]

The Sword of King Carol I[edit]

The Sword of King Carol I was a present to King Carol I by Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Aziz. Its blade is crafted from Damascus steel and it has a gold plated handgrip. The sheath contains 1140 jewels including 46 diamonds.[14]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]